What About Joseph?

we sit, listen to the pastor speak of Mary and her blessed being… her womb opening like butterfly cocoon, letting the spirit of God fly into a world hungry for the miraculous…

before the pulpit, the nativity has been arranged… life-size figurines, Mary’s lit up by a bulb. white, serene light. Joseph stands off to the side, wrinkled brow, looking sad; staff in hand. it takes me a minute to see him, for his bulb has burnt out. he stands in the shadows…

and i wonder, what about Joseph? doesn’t he, humble earth-father, deserve some credit?

… my mind drifts back to over a year ago… trying for a baby… both of us being tested; husband shuddering to think perhaps it was him–so humbling for a man.

then, conceiving a first-born son, and the pride, glowing in Trenton’s eyes… knowing his DNA would live on, coursing through tiny veins of tender son. quiver in warrior’s bow.

God the Father: Joseph’s surrogate…

Joseph, knowing he hadn’t lain with Mary… knowing others knew… knowing Mary had been impregnated by another, bowed his head and loved, both wife and son, with absolute heart…

heeding the voice of the One who’d impregnated her, and marrying a woman considered shameful…


the service is ending; we’re kneeling in spirit, praying… and i thank God for a man so humble as to raise Another’s Son… to love a boy who looked nothing like him… that the world might be saved.



  1. Linda said,

    December 23, 2009 at 1:19 am

    You have given words to thoughts I’ve had too Emily. What a gentle, humble heart. It is so easy to read the story and never get below the surface to the reality of what life must have been like for these two. I’ve thought about suffering, how it is “common to man” – how the Father didn’t even spare them or His beloved Son. We all walk that path at one time or another. But oh how beautifully the story ends – as will each of ours.

  2. Teneale said,

    December 31, 2009 at 12:57 am

    What a tremendous amount of faith that would take! Thanks for reminding us about Joseph and his faith in God and his plan for his life. Oh, to have the faith of Joseph. So often I try to take my life into my own hands, sure that I know what is best. its usually around this point that my world crumbles around me. Thanks for the reminder of Gods love and plan for me. Love you.

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